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On Dreamers Bill, Florida GOP Forced to Pander to Their Tea Party Base

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With the Dreamers bill, Rick Scott and the GOP thought they could successfully pass a bill pandering to Florida’s Hispanic community. Then, when Scott’s own campaign chairman torpedoed the bill, they realized they had to go back to pandering to their Tea Party base by watering the bill down.  

The bill before the Senate does not allow Florida Dreamers to apply for financial aide, and they unfairly have to compete with out-of-state students in order to get the in-state tuition — even though they live in Florida and call this state home.

 Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant said, “Today, Florida’s Dreamers saw the GOP-led legislature put Tea Party politics ahead of doing the right thing. It is deeply disappointing that Rick Scott and his Republican allies are using the futures of these children as pawns in their election-year pandering to Hispanic voters. If it had truly been a priority for the Governor, he would have shown leadership and not waited until the end of session to call legislators on the issue. And the bill would be much stronger.”

Florida Democratic Party Political Director Christian Ulvert said, “For over a decade, Florida Democrats have tried to provide in-state tuition for Dreamers. It took an election year for Republicans to take up this bill, and they have weakened it almost beyond recognition."

"This bill denies Dreamers access to financial aid and forces these young people — who call Florida home — to compete with out-of-state students. Rick Scott and the Florida GOP hope that they can pander to Florida’s Hispanic community. But no amount of revisionist history will change Rick Scott and the Republican legislature’s refusal to provide Dreamers with an affordable education."